Political Internships and Opportunities

These are opinion pieces authored by Women in Politics Club officers. They do not represent the views of the club nor Churchill as a whole. We hope you bring our new perspectives!

Authors: Elizabeth Qiu, Yucheng Shao, Noura Habona | Editor: Camila Shiva

Summer is always a great time to relax, explore new fields of interest, and partake in new tasks and opportunities that might not be available during the school year.

Have you ever wondered what it’s like working with politicians at a local, state, and national level? This summer, some of our club members interned for Maryland State Delegate Lily Qi (Democrat, District 15). Here are some of their takeaways:

Yucheng’s notes

  1. We went canvassing in a neighborhood in District 15 for Delegate Qi, where we handed out brochures with information regarding Delegate Qi such as contact information, resources, and policies. We used the MiniVAN app to track our progress and also checked in with her constituents to see if they needed help with anything or had any issues with unemployment after the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. Delegate Qi hosted a Zoom session where she walked us through a day in her life. She also explained the process of how a bill becomes a law at the state level. She provided us with examples by introducing some of the bills that she has passed and went into depth about the contents of those bills (meaning where she got the idea from, what stage of the process the bill was in, what committee the bill was sent to, etc.)
  3. We went on a field trip to Annapolis where we toured the Maryland State House. We went to the House of Delegates and learned how the voting process of bills functions. Later, we visited where George Washington’s original resignation speech took place, and learned about famous civil rights leaders from Maryland, like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass.

Noura’s notes

Trip to the MD State House in Annapolis! 

  1. We met with Delegate Qi and her Chief of Staff Lisa Dobbs at the state House. We were able to take some pictures and look at a statue of Thurgood Marshall, as well as read a timeline of his amazing accomplishments! We were then taken on a tour of the state House and were able to see the room where the MD delegates discussed bills among other things. We also went over the various positions and roles of delegates as well as talked about the change in race demographic of the delegates over the years. During our trip, we saw life-size statues of DMV natives George Washington, Harriet Tubman, and Fredrick Douglass too. Overall, it was an eye-opening experience and we were able to get the opportunity to truly get a glimpse of the inner workings of state politics!

Yucheng and Noura had a great time learning from and working with our local leaders. They even expressed future plans to continue getting involved in a similar role — some of them have even received extended offers for their internships. Congrats, ladies!

There are many other ways to get involved. Below, we’ve compiled a few local DMV (DC-Maryland-Virginia) opportunities for students interested in politics. This list provides several opportunities that many will find useful. Good luck to anyone searching for politics-related internships and opportunities 🙂

The Women in Politics Club has also worked with Delegate Qi in the past (she guest spoke to 50+ members in Fall 2019, and we also worked with her for the nonpartisan District 15 Phonebanking Project in 2020, led by our current President, Elizabeth Qiu). Thank you, Delegate Qi!


MoCo EmpowHER: Leadership InstituteYear-round: 3-month program*Local: MoCo* Build a strong community of girls across the county, close-knit community and safe space for discussion: women’s activism, public speaking, intersectionality, implicit bias, and team dynamics. Open to all middle and high schoolers of any gender identity in MoCo. https://www.mocoempowher.org/leadership-institute
ACLU National Advocacy Institute’s High School ProgramSummer(Nonpartisan) Intensive program: learn directly from lawyers, lobbyists, community activists, and other experts working to defend the civil rights and civil liberties critical to a free and open society; explore issue advocacy, legal strategy, and real-world political decision making in DC. https://www.aclu.org/high-school-program
Democracy SummerSummerDemocrat Party (Progressive) MD Rep. Jamie Raskin https://jamieraskin.com/DemocracySummer
Sunrise MovementYear-roundDemocrat Party (Progressive) Focusing on combating climate change https://www.sunrisemovement.org
Running StartSummerTraining young women to run for office (Nonpartisan) https://runningstart.org/high-school-program
15 Political Science Related Internships (CollegeVine)Year-roundhttps://bit.ly/3ympsof
From the US Senate: on getting internshipsYear-roundhttps://bit.ly/2Y5kYW2
Any politician at the local, state, national levelYear-round– Republican or Democrat Party (varying ideologies and members on the political spectrum, depending on who you work with or for)
– Find the politician that represents you in your district/region/state/etc, or any politician at all!
– Check out their website for more info (e.g.: House Reps usually have their “.house.gov” site)
– Create a resume and cover letter
– Usually email the politician’s team, such as their Chief of Staff
– Note: national roles and high-profile politicians are likely way more competitive, and usually favor college over high school students
– Follow up, be patient, you got this!
– Other: you can help in campaigns, legislations, or political policies you care about

The Center for American Women and Politics Launches Public Database of Women Elected Officials

“The Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), a unit of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University, is proud to announce the launch of the online CAWP Women Elected Officials Database, a first-of-its-kind tool for exploring and analyzing women’s current and historical representation in the U.S. political system. The CAWP Women Elected Officials Database includes every woman officeholder in U.S. history at the federal, statewide elected executive, and state legislative levels. This tool expands on the officeholder database that CAWP has long kept and shared with researchers, and, crucially, transforms it into a searchable, online format for public access.”

Continue reading this article by Rutgers University-New Brunswick here!

Find the Database here!

Women in politics face ‘daily’ abuse on social media

Imagine picking up your phone and receiving abusive messages every day.

Women in politics have spoken of their experiences of dealing with sexism and hatred on social media while voicing their political opinions.

Gender equality charity Chwarae Teg said it feared a growing number of women were being put off standing for election due to online abuse.

Two young women in politics have spoken about their experiences facing online abuse to the BBC’s Politics Wales”…

An interesting read by Dafydd Morgan from BBC about British politics. Click here to read more!

Is there (still) a gender gap in politics?

“A few years ago I took my children on a tour of the state Capitol building. My daughter was very interested in the art — the woodwork, the decorative tiles, and the paintings. After viewing the gallery of governor portraits, she turned to me and asked, ‘Where are all the girls?’”…

Continue reading this article here by Karen Nikos-Rose, a senior public information rep in News and Media Relations at UC Davis!

Money Talks: A Look At Female Donors’ Favorite Presidential Candidates

“If you want to talk about putting your money where your mouth is, then look no further than the historic 2018 midterm election. Women donated a record amount to political candidates in the most expensive midterm race in history. And there are signs that their political influence is only going to grow”…


Continue reading this piece by NATALIE GONTCHAROVA here!

Kamala Harris’s 2020 presidential campaign and policy positions, explained

“Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a longtime prosecutor prior to joining Congress in 2016, has made history in every elected office she’s held. She’s the first black woman and the first Asian American woman to serve as a California senator, as the state’s attorney general, and as San Francisco’s district attorney. And in 2020, she would be the first black woman and the first Asian American woman to be a major party nominee if Democrats choose her as their presidential candidate”…

Read more about Harris here!

Celebrating women in politics: 10 books you need to read for Women’s History Month

“This March we celebrate Women’s History Month, commemorating the lives, legacies, and contributions of women around the world. Since the inception of the women’s suffrage movement at Seneca Falls in 1848, we have seen a significant increase in women’s involvement in politics and the fight for women’s rights. It is important to honor the ones who stood up and fought before us, especially as we look forward towards the challenges to come”…

Continue reading and see the list of books here.

Challenges and opportunities for women in politics

“Two former state representatives discuss the challenges and opportunities facing women in politics.

Former state Rep. Jenifer Loon, R-Eden Prairie, served from 2009 to 2019. She was narrowly defeated in the 2018 election.

Former state Rep. Erin Murphy, DFL-St. Paul, served from 2007 to 2019. She ran unsuccessfully for governor of Minnesota in 2018.

The moderator was University of Minnesota political science professor Kathryn Pearson, who worked on the congressional staffs of two congresswomen, one of each party”…

Click here to read on.